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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Hobbit:
Martin Freeman turns down seven figures to play Bilbo
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the_argonath
Lorien


Sep 7 2010, 12:31pm

Post #26 of 84 (979 views)
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Meh... it's the Sun after all... [In reply to] Can't Post

... so I'd probably take it with a pinch of salt! He would('ve) be(en) a good Bilbo, but maybe it's time for an unknown actor if not Martin?

~*Haudh-en-Ndengin the Elves named it, the Hill of Slain, and Haugh-en-Nirnaeth, the Hill of tears... the earth beneath which the swords of the Eldar and the Edain crumbled into rust*~



chrismortega
Bree


Sep 7 2010, 1:13pm

Post #27 of 84 (1029 views)
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Scared me for a second there... [In reply to] Can't Post

This has to be fake. No one in their right mind turns down Bilbo to play a wussy sidekick. Break contracts, get sued, whatever... if you are offered Bilbo, you take it.

I am happy to get a little chatter going however. Shouldn't be too soon before we get some REAL casting information!

And Martin Freeman still has my vote, of the 'known' actors.

"NEVER TRUST AN ELF!"


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 7 2010, 2:05pm

Post #28 of 84 (1003 views)
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Yes this is one rumor [In reply to] Can't Post

that needs to be kicked square in the pants and booted to the curb for its pure silliness. Get on it you zany rumor-confirmer-people. Sly

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.

Tim: Follow. But. Follow only if ye be TORNsibs of valour, for the making of The Hobbit is guarded by a creature so foul, so cruel that no TORNsib yet has fought with it and lived. Bones of an A List veteran director lie strewn about its lair. So, brave TORNsibs, if you do doubt your courage or your strength, come no further, for Hollywood studio bureaucratic ineptitude awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth!

Studio Exec: And that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana-shaped.
Studio CEO: This new learning amazes me, Studio Lapdog. Explain again how sheeps' bladders may be employed to prevent earthquakes.


phredegar
Bree

Sep 7 2010, 2:19pm

Post #29 of 84 (983 views)
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$$ [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh, the cost! Balderdash. They can afford it. Anyway, whatever happened to Ars Gratia Artis?!


sphdle1
Gondor


Sep 7 2010, 2:30pm

Post #30 of 84 (969 views)
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I'm not buying it ... there is still hope [In reply to] Can't Post

 


sphdle1
Gondor


Sep 7 2010, 2:38pm

Post #31 of 84 (1018 views)
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Doesn't seem right [In reply to] Can't Post

That studios don't pay the actors on films like these that are guaranteed to make them100's of millions in profit...that's just pure greed...the actors do some of the hardest and most important work in a film (especially characters like Sam), and shareholders reap all the benefits..!?

OK maybe for LOTR movies (or at least the first one), but after you know the movies to follow will make huge profits, it is pure capitalistic greed that would not pay lead actors a fair share. I would think Jackson (a mulit-millionaire because of LOTR films) would at least look after his lead actors better, if the studio shareholders are unwilling to part with a couple of million in pocket change..!?

I meant to add...do you know Martin Freeman? Just curious as to why you don't think he will be cast..


(This post was edited by sphdle1 on Sep 7 2010, 2:39pm)


Pipe Dream
Gondor


Sep 7 2010, 2:54pm

Post #32 of 84 (949 views)
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Thanks Altaira! [In reply to] Can't Post

I try. Blush I hope it is only a rumor, after all "The Sun" isn't all bad. They did rescue that parasailing donkey, and nothing says top notch journalism like this front page:


Click Here for the full story

At any rate, a minimum seven figure salary of: $1,000,000 seems unlikely to me, (too high) but who knows? Maybe another season of TV pays better and it is steady work with the possibility of more seasons and work to come. Once The Hobbit finished filming, he'd be unemployed, so it may well be true.

Photobucket

Pre-Pre-production goes ever on and on...


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Sep 7 2010, 3:37pm

Post #33 of 84 (1647 views)
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Update from the Home Page: Martin Freeman was First Choice for Bilbo [In reply to] Can't Post

(Re-posted News From Bree post from the Home Page to keep the Martin Freeman discussion in one thread)

With the recent news, from the somewhat questionable source at The Sun, that Martin Freeman has declined to be a lead in two 'Hobbit' films, it is time to talk Bilbo Baggins.

While we have no information (yet) if Freeman actually turned down the role, we can say with absolute certainty that he was the first choice to step into the hairy Hobbit feet as early as last year. Developing and keeping good sources means that sometimes secrets must stay secret but since Freeman has been outed now, we can definitively declare that 'The Sun' article is absolutely talking about the right actor and so the rest of the story may well have merit.

However, the source, or the authors, seem a little confused. The story claims in quotes: "MGM, who are making the film, only got a formal offer over in the last couple of weeks."

Those following the production, even moderately carefully, will know that MGM is in deep financial trouble and it seems much more likely that the offer, if a formal one was provided, would have come from Warner Bros. and not MGM which lacks a leadership team. But, if a formal offer did come, it points toward MGM's September 15 deadline as actually meaning something with change with the legendary studio, allowing production to start.

The story also fits with news we heard recently of another round of casting for Bilbo, despite hearing that Freeman was already very much wanted for the role, lending the idea that he no longer in the picture some credibility. On that front we will follow up with a story later and perhaps an inadvertently leaked story detail.

The whole waiting game that forced director Guillermo del Toro to step away from the production and get back to his job or directing movies may have cost the films an excellent 'Bilbo' as well. If readers will permit just a bit of editorializing, this reporter at least was very much looking forward to seeing Martin as Bilbo Baggins and can only hope that 'The Sun' was given incorrect information or that Freeman would reconsider or somehow juggle his schedule and not pass up a role that would immortalize him and deliver perfectly for fans.



Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase



TORn Calendar

(This post was edited by Altaira on Sep 7 2010, 3:37pm)


deej
Tol Eressea


Sep 7 2010, 3:40pm

Post #34 of 84 (961 views)
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Well... [In reply to] Can't Post

From what I have heard this report is fairly accurate. And I am sad, because Martin Freeman has been my top choice for quite a while.


"...and back again."



Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 7 2010, 3:42pm

Post #35 of 84 (1061 views)
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Bwahahahahahhaa [In reply to] Can't Post

Sweet my first choice was GDT and PJ's first choice. Great minds think alike. Angelic

Now we just have to find out if it's true he's not going to be in it. Let me be first to say if this is true Mr. Freeman please reconsider!

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.

Tim: Follow. But. Follow only if ye be TORNsibs of valour, for the making of The Hobbit is guarded by a creature so foul, so cruel that no TORNsib yet has fought with it and lived. Bones of an A List veteran director lie strewn about its lair. So, brave TORNsibs, if you do doubt your courage or your strength, come no further, for Hollywood studio bureaucratic ineptitude awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth!

Studio Exec: And that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana-shaped.
Studio CEO: This new learning amazes me, Studio Lapdog. Explain again how sheeps' bladders may be employed to prevent earthquakes.


Bond-Of-Blood
Rivendell

Sep 7 2010, 3:43pm

Post #36 of 84 (988 views)
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How we get paid... [In reply to] Can't Post

We actors get differently to normal folk.

First of all nobody knows what final production costs will run to compared to how popular the movie will be and what it will gross so talent costs during production are always kept at a minimum.

We are often then paid a minimal "retainer" whilst shooting followed by several bonus payments or royalties based on the performance of the movie and associated marketing and merchandising.

Elijah, Ian, Viggo and other lead characters in LOTR were paid around USD $800 per day retainer plus food and lodgings followed by post production and release bonuses that were in the region of USD $500k per bonus amounting to around USD $5-6million total "fee".
Other supporting principle cast members received around USD$400 per day retainer plus food and lodgings and final bonuses amounting to around USD $2-3million. Some lesser and unknown actors like my friend Billy received less and you normally see these actors earning extra income doing the convention circuits.

Finally, no I don't know Martin personally I just feel there may be better and perhaps lesser known actors for Bilbo. For me, Martin's comedic performances are so good...(perhaps too good) to convincingly sell the seriousness and range of emotions that Bilbo frequently needs to portray.


Voorhas
Lorien


Sep 7 2010, 3:47pm

Post #37 of 84 (1005 views)
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Unfortunate, If True. [In reply to] Can't Post

I loved Freeman's work in The Office and thought he'd be great (no, fantastic!) in the part.

This production is turning into a casebook study on wasted opportunities. Frustrating for the fans, I imagine much moreso for the filmmakers themselves.


duats
Grey Havens

Sep 7 2010, 3:51pm

Post #38 of 84 (949 views)
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Wow [In reply to] Can't Post

I didn't realize that The Sun was the one who reported this. It could very well be BS. These are the guys who reported that Eddie Murphy would be The Riddler in Batman 3.

Guess I'll continue to keep my fingers crossed.


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 7 2010, 4:05pm

Post #39 of 84 (946 views)
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Yeah but [In reply to] Can't Post

Yeah but I've seen too many "comedians" turn very well to drama to write off Freeman on that basis. He's got that angsty twitchy energy I can see Bilbo emoting as the Dwarves merrily take over his home at the beginning of The Hobbit. Just my two cents. Thanks for the info on how actors get paid.

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.

Tim: Follow. But. Follow only if ye be TORNsibs of valour, for the making of The Hobbit is guarded by a creature so foul, so cruel that no TORNsib yet has fought with it and lived. Bones of an A List veteran director lie strewn about its lair. So, brave TORNsibs, if you do doubt your courage or your strength, come no further, for Hollywood studio bureaucratic ineptitude awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth!

Studio Exec: And that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana-shaped.
Studio CEO: This new learning amazes me, Studio Lapdog. Explain again how sheeps' bladders may be employed to prevent earthquakes.


Uruk-Hai
The Shire


Sep 7 2010, 4:38pm

Post #40 of 84 (963 views)
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MGM has done what Sauron could not. [In reply to] Can't Post

This thing all things devours:
Birds, beasts, trees, flowers:
Gnaws iron, bites steel:
Grinds hard stones to meal:
Slays king, ruins town,
And beats high mountains down!

(and delay until actor signs on to other roles)


(This post was edited by Uruk-Hai on Sep 7 2010, 4:40pm)


jschomburg
Rivendell

Sep 7 2010, 5:36pm

Post #41 of 84 (950 views)
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Down the road a bit.... [In reply to] Can't Post

It will be interesting to see how much of this "trauma" is covered in any extras on a blu-ray of the films - aka Extended Edition.


greendragon
Sr. Staff


Sep 7 2010, 6:38pm

Post #42 of 84 (927 views)
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'a casebook study on wasted opportunities' - well put! [In reply to] Can't Post

So true. Dragging of feet is damaging these movies before they even get going... Frown

'There are older and fouler things than orcs in the deep places of my fridge...'

'You never know what will happen next, when once you get mixed up with TORnsibs and their friends.'



Greenwood Hobbit
Rohan


Sep 7 2010, 7:22pm

Post #43 of 84 (960 views)
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I have divided loyalties on this... [In reply to] Can't Post

I think he would make a great Bilbo, and it's a shame, but I know he makes a great Watson to Benedict Cumberbatch's Sherlock. I fell for the new BBC 'Sherlock' series from a great height. For people who haven't seen Martin play 'serious' I can recommend it; he's certainly not a 'wussy sidekick' in my book! There will be a second set of three 90 minute shows screened in Autumn 2011 - and who knows, maybe more after that, if the quality remains as high as it was in the first three.

In an article I read recently that he has a two-year old child. Granted that it worked for Sean Astin and family, but - I'm merely guessing here! - not everyone wants to commit themselves and their family to that amount of time filming so far from home, and the resulting media circus etc, whatever the pay cheque may be.


chrismortega
Bree


Sep 7 2010, 7:42pm

Post #44 of 84 (854 views)
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I agree [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
It will be interesting to see how much of this "trauma" is covered in any extras on a blu-ray of the films - aka Extended Edition.


I agree, I have been thinking this all along. As an extra-feature hungry nerd, I am practically salivating.

As for the news that this may in fact be true, it is very disheartening. Martin Freeman has been my first choice since the beginning, and I'm glad to know that Peter is at least as smart as me (haha). But it may be that there is some unknown actor out there who will break out of the woodwork and surprise us all as a definitive Bilbo.

...just don't let them use that dork McAvoy

"NEVER TRUST AN ELF!"


xpressive9
The Shire

Sep 7 2010, 7:56pm

Post #45 of 84 (872 views)
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Both sides are hard to believe [In reply to] Can't Post

On the one hand, it seems unbelievable that a cash-strapped studio like MGM would offer seven figures, especially in light of the LOTR actors not being paid near as much. However, on the other, the Sun is not the most reliable news source ever (no offense meant, but some of their headlines just make me laugh). I'm hoping that Freeman turning down the role is just a rumor - we need some good news about The Hobbit.

Not all those who wander are lost.

~J. R. R. Tolkien


dormouse
Half-elven

Sep 7 2010, 9:49pm

Post #46 of 84 (868 views)
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Me too.... [In reply to] Can't Post

... but for different reasons.

I've never been able to imagine Martin Freeman as Bilbo so the idea that he doesn't want to be - if he doesn't - doesn't fill me with dismay. On the other hand, if he really is the production team's first choice, then I hope for their sake that this is no more reliable than any other story in The Sun. It must be so disheartening for them to face setback after setback (and if they want him then odds are that I'm wrong and he is a good choice).

But if he really doesn't want to do it, then I hope they manage to find someone just as good or maybe even better.

*cough... Tom Hollander.... cough*


Voorhas
Lorien


Sep 7 2010, 10:02pm

Post #47 of 84 (911 views)
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Tom Hollander... [In reply to] Can't Post

...doesn't project the same earnest fuzziness that Martin Freeman does, but I think he'd make an excellent Bilbo. He's a fine actor, and he and Ian Holm have a similar screen presence.


Tim
Tol Eressea


Sep 7 2010, 10:47pm

Post #48 of 84 (839 views)
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Tom Hollander [In reply to] Can't Post

He wouldn't make a bad Bilbo I suppose if he were costumed right - but Martin Freeman IS Bilbo to me - right now walking around in modern day clothes.

King Arthur: Who are you who can summon fire without flint or tinder?
Tim: There are some who call me... Tim.

Tim: Follow. But. Follow only if ye be TORNsibs of valour, for the making of The Hobbit is guarded by a creature so foul, so cruel that no TORNsib yet has fought with it and lived. Bones of an A List veteran director lie strewn about its lair. So, brave TORNsibs, if you do doubt your courage or your strength, come no further, for Hollywood Studio Bureaucratic Ineptitude awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth!

Studio Exec: And that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana-shaped.
Studio CEO: This new learning amazes me, Studio Lapdog. Explain again how sheeps' bladders may be employed to prevent earthquakes.


dormouse
Half-elven

Sep 7 2010, 11:30pm

Post #49 of 84 (793 views)
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That's how I see.. [In reply to] Can't Post

... Tom Hollander - funny, isn't it, how differently we picture things. He even has the right build for a hobbit and in his most recent role on TV he had that same 'doing the right thing but also half resenting it' manner that Bilbo does.

But there you go, I'm no casting director, what do I know!


thesithempire
Rivendell

Sep 8 2010, 12:27am

Post #50 of 84 (801 views)
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I really, REALLY hope the Sun is wrong [In reply to] Can't Post

Martin was my first (and only) choice (as some of you know). He IS Bilbo in the way that Cate Blanchette WAS Galadriel and Ian McKellan WAS Gandalf. To this date, I can't see anyone else in those roles. And whatever flaws the films developed as they went on (and they were many), having a near-perfect cast was one of things that offset them and elevated the films.

It would be such a crime if first we lost DelToro and then we lost Martin to this stupid situation. I am heartened to know that he was, in fact, PJ and DelToro's first choice. Hopefully, the Sun is wrong. Either way, I think if there's any legitimate reason for holding up the films, it's for Martin. I feel the same about DelToro, except that I know his schedule isn't going to clear until about 2032.

Much as I'm looking forward to Martin's version of Watson, there's just no reason that the schedule of a BBC miniseries should prove insurmountable here.

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